Crime in the Village, 1796

With the annoying amount of vandalism recently around the village, it is easy to think that it never happened in the good old days – ‘when the village policeman kept an eye on every potential teenage lout’. But as this notice from 1796 shows it was ever thus. (George Children – one of the founders of the Powder Mills – lived primarily at Ferox Hall but his family owned Ramhurst Manor and the corn mill down the lane). The notice was given recently to the Historical Society by Frank Hawkins’ daughter, Christine Bourner who lived at No. 3 The Square and ran a hairdressers at Southdown House in the 1960s.

Tonbridge, November 10, 1796

WHEREAS some evil disposed Person or Persons did within a few nights last past, forcibly break open the Door of the Pleasure House, on the Island at the Mount, near RAMHURST, in the parish of LEIGH, and steal thereout the following articles, (to wit, one Iron Tea-kettle with a Copper lid and a falling handle, one oval block-tin Tea-pot with a black handle, one round Tin Sugar Canister with about four pounds of Sugar therein, one round japanned Tin quarter of a pound Tea Canister full of Green Tea, and four small over Prints, with figures, in gilt frames and glazed).

Whoever shall apprehend the person or persons guilty of the said offence, or give to George Children, Esq of TONBRIDGE, such information against him or them, that he or they may be apprehended and prosecuted to conviction, shall on such conviction receive from the said George Children a reward of TWO GUINEAS; and if any of the above articles shall be offered to be sold or pawned, the persons to whom they shall be so offered, are requested to stop the same and the parties, and to give immediate notice thereof to the said George Children.

Parish Magazine Article: Dec 2008: by Chris Rowley